Thursday, May 29, 2008

Diggin' holes

My girls have been digging a hole in our yard. They rush out to work on it as soon as their chores and school are done, and they spend as much time as I'll let them digging, scooping, and smoothing. There is no logical reason for this hole. We are not planting anything there - the garden is a few feet to the left. We are not putting anything in the hole. It serves no purpose that I can determine. But they love this hole. It keeps them busy, and they'd much rather work on it than anything that I would like for them to do. I don't understand it!!

How many "holes" do I have in my life? Things I've invested time and energy into that really have no meaning and no purpose? Nothing wrong with them, but why do they capture my attention?

It's so easy to see it from the outside looking in, isn't it? Harder to see the silliness in yourself....

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Homeschool Co-op

So we had a meeting last night for our homeschooling co-op, and it was good, but my head is spinning. So many details to work out... But I think it really is important for my kiddos, so off we go.

A homeschooling co-op is a happy supplement to a homeschooling program. It can take many shapes and forms, but the essence of it is that parents pool together their resources to teach their kids together, in a limited way. For our group it's one day a week, from October through April, for anywhere from 1-4 classes. The main work of teaching is still at home, but it gives the kids a chance to rub shoulders with other kiddos (and the moms a chance to go out of their houses and visit too!) We break the kids down into rough age groups, and depending on what parents are willing to teach, we make up a schedule. Some classes that would be tricky at home (think public speaking :)) just work easier in this format.

Anyway, they are popping up all over the place, so check one out. They're not for everyone, but it's worth thinking and praying on. We have some information about ours on our group's website:, and I plan to post some stuff on my website soon as well. Happy researching :).

Monday, May 26, 2008


Anyone who knows me well knows that I have an awful memory, for some things at least. And forgetting can get you in big trouble. There are things that you just NEED to remember. Not remembering them can have BAD consequences.

Today we celebrate Memorial Day, a day that was set aside in 1868 to honor those who died in the Civil War, as well as others who gave their lives to keep our country free. Do we really remember them though? Do we remember their sacrifice? Do we remember the cause they sacrificed for? What are the consequences of us not remembering well?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Steven Curtis Chapman family tragedy

I don't know if you've ever heard of Steven Curtis Chapman, but he is a Christian musician who has lived life in the spotlight with his family, and they have done it well. He has released more albums than you can count easily, won tons of awards, stayed committed to his wife and family, and just honored the God he sings about. He and his wife have become outspoken advocates of adoption in recent years, and actually were a large motivating force behind my husband and I choosing to foster and possibly adopt. The Chapmans have three biological children and then adopted three more. They also started a foundation, Shaohannah's Hope, that helps enable others to adopt.

Yesterday, May 21st, the Chapmans suffered a huge personal tragedy. One of their teenage sons was backing an SUV down the driveway and accidently struck and killed their youngest daughter, Maria, a 5 year old that the family had adopted from China as a baby. Wow.

If you pray, pray now for this family, for the brother who was driving, for all of them. Maria is fine. She is now in the arms of her heavenly Father, but the rest of the family has some grieving and some healing to do. Lift them up with your family as you sit down to eat your meals today, as you tuck your little ones in tonight. Lift them up...

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


I've heard this portion of Scripture so many times, but it was sweet encouragement again to me today.
Doing Bible lessons with the kiddos today and we read 1 Samuel 216:1-13, where Samuel goes to Jesse to look for the king to be among his sons. He starts with the oldest, tallest, handsomest one, of course, and God says no. He works his way down through all of the many brothers, no, no, no... Finally Samuel asks Jesse, in essence, "Is this all you've got?" Jesse says, kind of off hand, "Well, I've got this younger one, but I just kind of left him out in the field to take care of the sheep. I don't think you'd want him." Nice vote of confidence, Dad!! Of course it turns out that David, the youngest, the smallest, the least likely, is exactly who God has chosen.
God chooses the unlikely. God uses the unusable. That's great encouragement for a tired out, unlikely, unusable mom like me!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Cut-rate Curriculum

It's that time of the homeschooling year again, time for doubting your sanity, waiting for test scores, doubting your kids' sanity :), and looking for curriculum at a good price to do it all over again next year!! A few of my favorites for low cost stuff are:

Let me know if you come arross any other good ones!!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

A good night

I so often have to remind myself to celebrate the things I can, and not to dwell on the frustrating things. Looking back to yesterday, I have opportunity to practice. We had a rough day here, lots of crankiness and mischeviousness, but you know what, we had a good night. We made it through supper (a supper where nothing burnt!) without anyone getting hurt or being mean to anyone else. We actually talked and laughed and smiled. Some of us got baths, and everyone slept through the night. We had a good night!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Being REAL

Sometimes great wisdom comes in unlikely places, like a children's book....

" "What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day...
"Real isn't about how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."
"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.
"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are real you don't mind being hurt."
"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked,"or bit by bit?"
"It doesn't happen all at once, said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."

(The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams)

When I was younger I thought I knew so much, and I held those older than me in not as high regard as I should have. As I walk this journey called life, especially this path called mommyhood, each day I feel like I am becoming more and more REAL. I certainly have the worn out parts to show for it!! Sometimes I grumble about the wear and tear I suffer, but I am becoming REAL, and I have children that love me dearly. What on earth could be better?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Encouragement for a stressed out mom

So today I actually allowed myself enough time to exercise, have a short quiet time with my Bible, and brush my teeth before everyone woke up. Ok, so I did 1/3 of my little exercise ball routine, did a snippet of a devotional from my Mom's Devotional Bible, and well, I did brush my teeth. How do some moms do this every day? Discipline I guess.... It's a good thing, but I am TIRED!! So today's devotional was aptly titled "When Exhaustion Wins". It used I Samuel 30:9-10, 23-26 for the reading today, and it was perfectly timed. The scripture is about a group of Israelites on a trip, well, a fighting trip, with David, and some of them were exhausted and had to stay back. After the fight and victory, David rewarded those who had fought with the same spoils as those who stayed back to rest. The devotional author pulled out of this, along with a few other Scriptures, the godly, biblical principle of rest. She talked about how it is important as moms to know when we need to rest, and then to do it, how we can come back much more refreshed and effective. Thanks God for that well timed encouragement. Oops - my quiet time for this morning is up!! My little reason for needing extra rest is awake!!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Homeschool Crunch

So it's mid-May, when I planned to be done with homeschooling, and I'm looking at my list of to-do's, and wondering if I will get to any of them, or how many of them. We have accomplished tons this year, and I know that, but it's so easy to get frustrated by looking at what we didn't do. We didn't finish this workbook, we didn't go on this field trip... You know what, it's a beautiful day, and we'll do what we can and then just go on, live life, enjoy the day, and call it good.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Homeschooling high school

I was reading an article in our HSLDA (Home School Legal Defense Association - ) magazine this morning about kiddos who were homeschooled through high school, and it was interesting... They interviewed quite a few students who had been homeschooled through high school, and the jist of it was that they all felt prepared academically, but felt unprepared in one or more areas of "real life stuff". This really surprised me! I kind of figured since we're living life out in front of our kids 24/7 they'd "get" more stuff than their regularly schooled counterparts. Hmmm... So another thing to add to my list - am I doing the real life stuff? Checkbook balancing? Car repairs? My list is getting very long!!!

Early morning

So I guess the one thing I really miss as a mom is sleeping. We had just goten back into a pretty good deal with it when we added our little foster care kiddo into our family. And now, well, two year olds just really don't like to sleep. He's great about going to bed, just doesn't like to be there much past 6 am. Not a problem normally, but when you're on vacation, not so fun. Soooo, here I sit watching Dora's Puppy Power DVD at 6:00. Just have to remind myself - it's a season. It will pass. Sleep will come again. The snuggles and cuddles will also pass though, so I won't wish the time away :). Diet Pepsi Max here I come!!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Another Day, Another Chance

I had an opportunity to chat with one of my kiddos today about second chances, and how I really do think that God causes the sun to set and rise each day as a reminder of the chance that each day has a fresh start and another chance. Second chances - we all need them...